Remember the emotionally gripping video and photos of the Seaside Heights, New Jersey roller coaster that was swept off a pier and into the ocean by Superstorm Sandy? You know, this one:
The coaster is still there, sitting out in the water. It will obviously never be ridden again, but it’s still too soon for it to have been removed — it’s not exactly a high priority when there are still destroyed homes and displaced families in the area. The coaster remains a landmark along the coast, and a sad reminder of the immense damage caused by Sandy.
One man — Christopher Angelo — decided to do something about that. He recently entered the water, swam out to where the coaster sits and climbed up to the top of it. There, he planted an American flag — a symbol of New Jersey’s (and all those affected by Sandy’s) triumph over the storm. And a way to raise awareness that the recovery effort is ongoing and that more assistance is needed.
Then, police arrested the man.
The photos of the ordeal are pretty inspiring. Take a look:
Angelo’s mother described him as a “daredevil” and noted that the 38-year-old lives with his grandmother. Perhaps his actions were reckless and perhaps his effort could have been better spent helping with the recovery effort in a high priority location, but there’s still something pretty inspiring about his brave (and pretty risky) stunt.
The Ocean County Police Blotter Facebook page posted about the incident and hundreds of people commented in support of Angelo. When he gets past whatever legal trouble he currently faces, there will be more than a few locals waiting to buy him a beer, surely.